Parents across the globe have their own unique ways of bringing up a child, but they definitely have one thing in common: they always want the best for their kids.
We would like to provide you with a bit of insight into the surprising traditions different cultures practice in parenting.
Mauritanian parents spit in their children’s faces.
The Wolof people of Mauritania think their saliva can preserve their words, so they spit on their newborns to make their blessings stick with the child. Mothers usually spit on the face and fathers spit in the ears of their babies and spread the saliva all over their heads to ensure they live a blessed life.
Norwegians let their kids sleep outside in subzero temperatures.
It is common for parents in Nordic countries to leave their toddlers in their strollers outside restaurants even on a cold winter day while they enjoy a hot drink or lunch inside. The freezing fresh air is believed to keep them fitter and more resistant to diseases.
Kenyan mothers never look into their baby’s eyes.
Even though Kisii women in Kenya are very much engaged with their children, they turn their eyes away as soon as their babies get the slightest bit excited. It is their way of teaching a child not to seek too much attention.
Vietnamese parents train their kids to pee on command.
Every time Vietnamese children show signs of needing to pee, their mothers make a distinctive whistling sound. By nine months of age, the kids are able to relate that sound to urinating and learn to go to the bathroom by themselves.
Mayan parents bathe their babies in icy water.
Mayan toddlers usually get a refreshing dip in ice-cold water from their parents right before going to sleep. They do this in order to protect them from the scorching heat and keep them in good health.
Finnish babies sleep in cardboard boxes.
Mothers in Finland are traditionally delivered a box by the state packed with useful accessories. It contains items including a thin mattress, so the parenting kit will serve as the first bed of the newborn child.
Japanese children eat everything and never get fat.
Japanese parents, as well as school canteens, pay careful attention to what children’s daily meals are made up of. As a result, they follow a plant-based diet including small portions of a variety of highly nutritious foods and never eat themselves full.
Danish kids hang their pacifiers on a tree.
In Denmark, when small children turn three and grow out of the habit of sucking, they leave their pacifiers on a branch of a special tree to bid a final farewell to their soothing toys.
Armenian babies choose their future professions at an early age.
As part of a ritual, Armenian mothers line up a number of toys in front of their babies when their first teeth appear. The first item they show interest in is supposed to predict their future careers. A book usually represents a scholar, money symbolizes a banker, and a knife foretells that the child will become a doctor.
Preview photo credit Shayne Thomas/flickr